By Uba Ani

Peter Mbah’s one-year leadership in Enugu State has been eventful, with notable achievements in various sectors. However, his administration’s handling of local government leadership has raised serious concerns. In Enugu East Local Government, for instance, a royal family has dominated the chairmanship position, as well as other juicy political positions at the state and national level

The marginaliziation of some communities in the zones resulted in gross imbalance in political representation and opportunities for the communities that made up Inyiukwu and Ujodo development areas.

One of the critical issues in his administration is local government  which tenure elapsed since March this year and which the government had ordered a hand over to LG Heads of Personnel Management. Gov Mbah’s position on that hand over may not have gone down well with politicians  as many of them prior to the end of the councils administration had started jostling for the various vacant positions that eventually became available. 

It, however,  became worrisome as politicians  had expected appointment of a caretaker or transition committee to be in place till when  an election would be conducted for local government councils but  Mbah was very artful in  hiding his agenda from even his closest lieutenants until most recently when he deemed it fit to stir up political activities at the local levels.

Some people were wondering why Mbah had shunned politicians and political activities in his one year in office but others were positive and insistent that Mbah’s government is focused as he was aggressively tackling problems that needed urgent attention in the state. 

There’s no doubt that the various LGAs have their own peculiarities and problems associated with lack of inclusiveness in the political goings-on in the local government areas. The spate of marginalization has thus created an inherent dominant and weak sides  in the struggle for leadership in their councils 

Enugu East local government has been one out of the many others that  are adversely and lopsidedly administered over the years. The local government is like the company of a royal family in the area which her princes have such confidence and bravado to categorically tell anyone from other political zones in the area to shelve their ambition to run for the chairmanship position or fail trying. 

The Royal kingdom is like the lord manor of Enugu East local government politics and as such always enjoyed the leadership or give the slot to any of their favoured close family relatives. 

The Enugu East local government senerio  is a case of gross marginalization of a people such as the one found in the then apartheid South Africa  or the dark days of slavery as was found in Babylon, Egypt etc.

They have had a lopsided  arrangement possibly occasioned by lack of political awareness and some kind of clannish sentimental tendencies inherent  in those who thought themselves the true owners of the local government. 

It is disheartening to note that nobody from any of the other zones has been allowed to have a shot at the local government chairmanship except their family and relatives in the other communities from the same Central zone.

Related News

 Chronicling the political history of other zones in the council area which include Iji, Mbuluowere, (Mbulu Inyiukwu) Inyiukwu development area and (Mbulujodo) Ujodo development area in Enugu East local government area is one that any writer would not do without sharing in the emotions of a grossly marginalized people who have suffered deprivation in the hands of this family who in partnership with successive governments of Enugu State since 1999 denied them the opportunity to play a major role the politics of the local government. 

One would think that Inyiukwu and Ujodo people are the  bushmen and Hottentots of South Africa who do not have anything to offer in this modern political arrangement, yet these zones parade more academic political elite  than the central that has been holding sway to leadership since 1999. 

Some schools of thought described Inyiukwu and Ujodo people as those reduced to visitors in their own ancestral home; a situation that had resulted in a struggle for survival by them, given that they were excluded in the various categories of administrations domicile in their home.

But will Gov. Mbah resolve this issue in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice  especially as this family in Nike had persistently hijacked power and by hook or crook imposed same on one state governor after another for the chairmanship of Enugu East LG to either come from their family or close relative of the family. 

Gov. Mbah, in his astuteness  and integrity, surely is a Daniel that has come to judgment; to deliver justice in the spirit of equity and fairness considering that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.

His good instincts as always will align with ensuring that the deprived are made equal partners with the hitherto dominant ones in the local government.

Ordinarily, the leadership of Enugu East LG should rotate in principle as it is the case in Enugu State and one would think that Gov. Mbah will give the opportunity to either of the zones that have not had a taste of the leadership of the local govt.. There’s no doubt that these two zones  have eminently qualified men and women with capacity and integrity to pilot the local government administration if given the chance.

However,  as Prof Soyinka captured it,  “The man dies in him who keep silence in the face tyranny…” and differently put , “the only way evil will subsist  in a given society  is for  honest men to stay aloof”, therefore, the people of the two marginalized zones in Enugu East local government should be mindful that power is not given but taken just as politics is the struggle for power. Although there’s consensus and power shift as part of democracy but those who need power must put vigorous action in the struggle to take it

Irked by the agony of Inyiukwo and Ujodo people  Nwokwor Oko, a native of Nchetenche community who came back after a 26 years sojourn in the UK, cried foul over the spate of injustice and marginalization being meted on his people. 

In that regards Nwokwor in a community monograph blamed among many other factors, the obnoxious cultural practices in the area as well as the clannish degeneration of some politicians in the area from sublime to a ridiculous level. 

He also enumerated those who have have held leadership positions in the council thus; Senator Gil Nnaji, Mattias  Anike aka Mario,( the senator’s boy), Ike Nnaji (Ike Nike), the senators younger brother, Alex Ugwu (a relation to the royal family), and the immediate past Chairman also a relation  and called on Mbah to urgently intervene.

•Ani writes from Enugu State.

VERIFIED: Nigerians (home & diaspora) can now be paid in US Dollars. Earn up to $17,000 (₦27 million) with premium domains. Click here to start